MOUNT OLIVE TOWNSHIP, NEW JERSEY - Over 350 runners competed in this year's ITCA Annual Leprechaun Leap at the International Trade Center, many of whom competed last year. But when it was over this time, the top finishers were a whole new crew.
Despite some heat from a handful of competitors, Lou Palma of Clinton, 27, was the overall champion, taking first in 16:31.3, ahead of 15-year old Joseph Presetifilipp of Hopatcong and Peter Kashulines, 45, of Mountain Lakes. Scott Chamberlin of Allamuchy Township, another 15-year old, came in fourth, just ahead of last year's winner, Mark Bahnuk of Hackettstown, 26, who was fifth.
Mary Christian(pictured right) of Flanders won the women's end of it, finishing in 19:06.3. She was trailed by Janine Neill of Andover, Alison Jeffs from Chester, and Bailey Ott of Pompton Lakes. Last year's female winner, Christine Scheuch, like her male counterpart winner last year, came in fifth place. Ott, at 15, was the youngest finisher on the female side.
The 12th Annual Leprechaun Leap 5K, sponsored by Picatinny Federal Credit Union and held on March 22nd, featured runners from throughout the region, many of whom wore "green" in post St. Patrick's Day honor. Proceeds from the charity race will be going to the Unit Fellowship Fund, which supports families of Morris County soldiers who are deployed overseas.
"We are thrilled to have the proceeds go to such an important group of people," said Tom Quigley, Business Development Manager for Picatinny Federal Credit Union. "Life is tough enough on these families and if we can help ease the strain even a little bit it goes a long ways in making things better."
Rounding out the Top 10 for the men were Zachary Miller, Budd Lake, Glen Oakley of Blairstown, Antonio Massa, Denville, Kevin Mulvihill, Long Valley, and Ryan Fischlein, Succasunna.
Finishing out the Top 10 for the women were Nirmala Alcapeddt, Randolph, Andrea Lovas, Oxford, Sarah Masukewicz, Flanders, Kristen Girondi, Hamburg, and Wendy Kerr, Hawthorne.
The race was presented in partnership between the ITCA and the Mount Olive Mayor's Wellness Council. The goal of the Mayors Wellness Council is to increase opportunities for New Jersey residents to participate in daily physical activity with a long-term goal of reducing personal and health care costs secondary to obesity.
For a full listing of racing results, visit www.bestrace.com.
To find out more about events hosted by the ITCA go to www.ITCAevents.org or call the ITCA at (973) 347-3088.
ABOUT PICATINNY FEDERAL CREDIT UNION
Picatinny Federal Credit Union was established in 1939 at Picatinny Arsenal, Dover, New Jersey. The Credit Union started as a small financial institution offering basic savings accounts to civilian members and later included both active and retired military personnel.
Today, Picatinny Federal Credit Union is a full service financial institution with 4 branches in Morris County, more than 15,000 members, over 200 businesses and more than $200 million in assets. In 2005, the Credit Union was granted a Community Charter, which allows anyone who lives, works, worships or attends school in Morris County, N.J. to become a member of the Credit Union and take advantage of all the financial services provided such as savings, checking, money markets, IRA's, loans and on-line banking with free bill payer.
Picatinny Federal Credit Union has been committed to its members' needs above all else since 1939. The Credit Union currently has over 15,000 members, with total assets exceeding $200 million. Well over 200 local companies offer the benefit of credit union membership to their employees.
To learn more about Picatinny Federal Credit Union, visit www.picacreditunion.com.